7 fun facts about our church home:
STOCKTON PARISH CHURCH
1. The settlement began in ‘Stoctun’ in the Anglo-Saxon period. (‘Stoc’ names usually indicate farms which belonged to a manor/religious house.)
2. The parish has been active for 302 years! (The foundation stone was laid in 1705 and the building was completed in 1712.)
3. The first sermon preached was on the text “My house will be a house of prayer”. (The parish is still a powerful house of prayer today!)
4. A third of the congregation are asylum seeker’s from Iran (Asylum Seeker = Someone who leaves their country, often for political reasons or war, petitioning for government protection and residence in another country)
5. Half of our youth group came to Stockton from Malawi, Africa.
6. There are over 13 nationalities represented at the parish.
7. Six years ago, the Stockton Parish Church had less than 20 attendants, mostly elderly. The doors of the church were nearly shut when God breathed life into its dry bones–the parish is now one of the most thriving churches in the Tees Valley.
A quick update on our new beginnings: September 7th was our first Sunday at the parish. (Our second day in the UK). The church’s welcome was overwhelmingly positive–every person we came in contact with lit up with joy and refreshed our spirits.
I was particularly encouraged to hear that the parish had been praying for us for months. In fact, before we had even applied to work in England, the parish had been praying for God to provide them with a couple. It’s wild to think that we were an answer to a people’s prayers 5,000 miles across the ocean. Our God is great!
After communion and during worship, Brian and I had tears welling up in our eyes as the peace and presence of God swept over us. We were exactly where we needed to be.
I hope you enjoyed learning a bit about SPC. We are truly humbled to be on staff at such a lively, Jesus-centered church and we thank God for sending us to Stockon-on-Tees. It is an honor to be a part of what He is doing here!!!